Senegal, Egypt, Rwanda to host 2023 Basketball Africa League
The season of the 2023 Basketball Africa League (BAL) will tip off on March 11 in Senegal, the organisers revealed yesterday.
Senegal, Egypt and Rwanda are the three countries listed to host this year’s championship.
The 2023 BAL season will feature top 12 club teams from 12 African countries playing a total of 38 games in Dakar, Senegal; Cairo, Egypt and Kigali, Rwanda over three months.
According to NBA-Africa, the 12 clubs in the championship will be divided into two conferences, Sahara and Nile, which will play 15-game group phase each.
The Sahara Conference will play at the Dakar Arena, Senegal, from March 11 to 21, while the Nile Conference will play at the Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo from April 26 to May 6.
The top four teams from each conference will advance to an eight-game, single elimination playoffs and finals at BK Arena in Kigali from May 21 to 27.
According to BAL President, Amadou Gallo Fall, after the BAL’s successful expansion to three iconic African cities last season, they were excited to welcome back their fans in Dakar, Cairo and Kigali in 2023.
“The caravan format envisioned when we launched the BAL allowed more fans to experience the excitement of this world-class league up close and in-person.
“We look forward to building on the success of our second season and continuing to deliver an authentic, African sport and entertainment product that inspires and connects people across the continent and around the world,” he said.
Also speaking on the 2023 competition, FIBA Africa/BAL Board President, Anibal Manave, said: “We are thrilled to announce the third season of the BAL.
“Returning to the three host cities for the second consecutive season will build on our consistent efforts to develop African basketball in a sustainable way. With the high level of competition during the Road to the BAL qualifying tournaments, we look forward to a great performance from the new teams who will make their BAL debut next year.”
A statement by BAL made available to The Guardian, explained that, as in the past, national league champions from 12 African countries will qualify for the league, including through the Road to the BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Africa across the continent from October to November 2022.
“For the second straight year, the BAL Elevate programme will see one NBA Academy Africa prospect join each of the 12 BAL teams.
“BAL Elevate will once again provide an opportunity for the next generation of African prospects to participate in a professional league, showcase their talent on a global stage and help their respective teams compete for the 2023 BAL Championship.
“During the 2022 season, several BAL Elevate players contributed to their respective team’s success and went on to commit to NCAA Division I schools America or sign professional contracts, including with NBA G League Ignite,” the statement said.
On May 28, Tunisia’s US Monastir defeated Angola’s Petro de Luanda 83 to 72 to win the 2022 BAL finals in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,000 at BK Arena.
The 2022 BAL season featured players from 23 countries across Africa, Europe, and America, reached fans in 214 countries and territories in 14 languages – including all 54 African countries – and generated more than 600 million online engagements.